Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Do an analysis synthesis of the chosen texts, cross pollinate issues Essay

Do an analysis synthesis of the chosen texts, cross pollinate issues raised in various texts - Essay Example In Gogol's The Overcoat, one can see the personification of this 'common man', in Akaky Akakiyevich who lived almost an invisible life in the society until he felt a wish to have a distinct identity by acquiring a new overcoat, a wish that costs him his life (Gogol). In the beginning of the story itself, he is depicted as some one â€Å"who cannot bite back† (Gogol, 29). Gogol has spend a lot of his narrative time explaining the name, Akaky Akakiyevich, even referring to his family name, Bashmachkin, which is supposed to have originated from the word, bashmak, which meant, shoe (29). Here, accidently, but rather meaningfully, we see a reference to shoe both in Heaney's poem as well as in Gogol's story. And the word shoe, is synonymous with the concept, downtrodden, in both these contexts. Throughout Gogol's story, Akaky Akakiyevich is treated as a shoe, which is a symbol of getting insulted, getting trampled under the feet. A shoe is thrown away when it is of no more use. In t he same way, the protagonist in this story is replaced by some other person in his office without worries from any side, as soon as the story of his death reaches there (Gogol, 55). Akaky Akakiyevich had been a man who was deeply immersed in his mechanical ways of work and life as if he himself was a well-oiled machine until he saw that his overcoat was worn out and it was making him cold while moving outdoors (Gogol, 35). It was using the savings from depriving himself of the meager comforts that he could afford added with an act of benevolence from his director that Akaky Akakiyevich could find the money to buy a new overcoat. Once he bought the coat and started using it, he was elated from his position as a commoner though for a brief while (Gogol, 44). A party was held to celebrate his new overcoat but after the party, as he was returning home, his coat was stolen, his efforts to get a legal remedy was stiffled by official apathy, he was insulted and fell ill and soon he dies (G ogol). In the narrative, Akaky Akakiyevich passes away just like the shoe that is dipped into the water and grows cold with an â€Å" unpredictable fantail of sparks Or hiss† (Gogol, Heaney 4). And Gogol has said in the story that, â€Å"at last he began to curse, uttering the most horrible words, so that his aged landlady crossed herself, never in her life having heard anything of the kind from him† (54). This image is so similar to the sparks or hiss that came out from the shoe just before the heat died out (Heaney). And it is a wasted protest. The progress of the story on these lines, show that when a down trodden person tries to improve his social status, it is treated as a crime and the punishment is death. When Heaney, in another poem of his titled At a Potato Digging, says that, â€Å" going down and down/ for the good turf, digging,† the same concept is implied- a search for dignity and depth that ends up in darkness and unending toils (23-24). An effort to rise above one's social backwardness appears to be an individual's personal problem on surface, but once he/she actually makes an effort to do that, suddenly it becomes evident that there are forces in action which would not let it happen. And

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